Chennai: Based on intelligence, Chennai Air Customs officials intercepted postal parcels suspected to contain psychotropic drugs which were bound for the US. On inspection, it was found that the parcels contained 3440 tablets of psychotropic drugs and they were seized under the NDPS Act, 1985.
The parcel contained 234 strips of Addwize 10mg (Methylphenidate), 50 strips of Lonazep 1 mg (Clonazepam) and 40 strips of Zolfresh 10 mg (Zolpidem). 2340 tablets of Methylphenidate, 600 tablets of Zolpidem and 500 tablets of Clonazepam were recovered from them.
These drugs are psychotropic substances falling under Schedule ‘X’ & ‘H’ of Drug and Cosmetic Rule 1945 and are also covered under the NDPS Act, 1985. Schedule H drugs can be identified as the ones that contain an ‘Rx’ marking on the packaging, whereas the Schedule X drugs are labelled with ‘XRx’ on their packaging. Schedule X is the more potent variant that is used for treating certain medical conditions and it includes narcotic and psychotropic substances-based drugs.
Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant and used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy. Zolpidem is a sedative, also called a hypnotic and is used to treat Insomnia. Clonazepam, a type of anti-epileptic drug, is used to treat certain seizure disorders.
While these drugs are available mostly from pharmacies on producing a prescription from a registered medical practitioner, they are widely misused after being procured via different legal or illegal channels. While they have a specific medical use, it is a substance with high abuse potential.
The value of the drugs are fairly low when procured via the legal route, however, they have a very high street price in developed nations where they are harder to procure illegally, in large numbers.
It is said that the street price of the seized pills (total) could be up to USD 17,000 or Rs 12 lakhs.